An international collaboration agreement has been signed between the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) based in Orkney, Scotland, and the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University (ERI@N), Singapore, to support further development of the marine renewable energy industry in Southeast Asia.
EMEC – the world’s first and leading facility for wave and tidal energy converters – will advise the University on the setup of scale test facilities in Singapore; offering a different climate and sea conditions to EMEC’s own scale test sites in Orkney.
A memorandum of understanding was signed in Singapore on 1 November 2013 by Stuart Baird, EMEC’s operations director, and Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar, Executive Director of ERI@N, after Mr Baird spoke at the Asia Future Energy Forum, part of Singapore International Energy Week.
Scottish Government’s Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing has commended the agreement: “This is the latest in a number of agreements that have been established by EMEC not just in Southeast Asia but in Oregon, USA; Nova Scotia, Canada; China; South Korea; Japan; and Taiwan.
“With the signing of this memorandum of understanding, we are seeing yet another region opening up for the marine energy market. It is a further example of Scotland’s impressive global reach. We will continue to look beyond our borders to promote Scottish marine energy expertise and know-how, and to develop partnerships with businesses, research institutes and governments around the world.”
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, EMEC’s experience in the development and operation of a marine energy test facility is unrivalled, and its expertise is highly sought after across the globe.
Stuart Baird, operations director said: “We’re delighted to be working with Nanyang Technological University, who already have a range of projects to promote and advance the research, development and deployment of sustainable technologies in one of the world’s most experienced maritime areas.
“Being the first facility of its kind in the world, EMEC has racked up some tremendous learning over the last ten years as we’ve developed and expanded our facilities and services to fit the needs of a nascent industry. It’s been a fruitful yet challenging journey, and one which other countries can learn from as they develop their own wave and tidal test centres.”
KOH Eng Kiong, programme director at ERI@N said: “With the cutting-edge EMEC facilities and its achievements, cooperation with EMEC will be very beneficial in boosting the development of international markets and common standards. With NTU’s strong expertise in sustainability research and its strategic location in Singapore which acts as a gateway to Southeast Asia, this collaboration will also bring about the best between East and West.”
This is the fifth partnership EMEC have made in Asia, having signed similar agreements with the Ocean Energy Association of Japan, Ocean University of China, Incheon Metropolitan City in South Korea and National Taiwan Ocean University. EMEC has also formed strategic alliances with The Fundy Ocean Energy Centre in Nova Scotia, Canada, and the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Centre in Oregon, USA.
EMEC’s newly appointed commercial director, Oliver Wragg commented: “It’s important that we work with other countries around the world to ensure there is a global market waiting for our clients who are testing devices in Orkney today. With 14 full-scale test berths, and facilities for smaller scale demonstration, we continue to look at ways in which we can provide for our current and future customers both in Orkney and across the globe.”
EMEC – European Marine Energy Centre
That is the key message from the Global Energy Symposium in Orkney
INCREASED connectivity and collaboration between the world’s wave and tidal power test sites is vital to ensure resources are used strategically and to help boost the development of international markets.
That was the key message from delegates attending a major international marine energy conference held in Orkney last week.
Plans to create an international research forum and global ocean energy network to drive progress in the sector will now be drawn up.
The three-day Global Ocean Energy Symposium – part of a programme of events marking the tenth anniversary of the Orkney based European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) – attracted wave and tidal experts from mainland Europe and as far afield as China, North America and Singapore.
Neil Kermode, managing director of EMEC, said: “The symposium was an enormous success and gave marine energy test centre colleagues from around the world the opportunity to see first hand the pioneering wave and tidal power work taking place here in Orkney.
“It was a privilege, during our tenth anniversary year, to showcase EMEC’s world-leading facilities to our international colleagues,demonstrating to them how marine energy activity is having a positive economic impact in the islands, and indeed Scotland. We think that being able to point to the success of Orkney will help them accelerate their own programmes.Two thirds of the planet is covered in oceans, so harvesting this energy will be a multinational challenge, with Scotland in the thick of it.
“We decided we wanted to build on the considerable momentum gained over the past decade through greater international collaboration and that’s why the symposium made a call for the creation of a formal global research forum for test centres.
“In addition to presenting a united front as the industry moves from its research and development phase towards full-scale commercialisation, this global network will act as a conduit for further peer to peer knowledge sharing and collaboration between marine energy test centres. Only by working together more closely can the industry overcome the challenges it will face over the next ten years and attract the vital private and public sector support and funding it will need to progress. Test facilities will play a central role in this effort, so it makes sense to create a forum that ensures we have an effective voice in the industry.”
Twenty delegates attended last week’s symposium – hosted by EMEC and supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Orkney Islands Council. Speakers from EMEC were joined by experts from the Scottish Government, Marine Scotland, The Crown Estate, Northern Lighthouse Board and HIE. Topics covered at the event included government policy and support, infrastructure, licensing, standards and safety.
Amongst the international delegates was Dr Belinda Batten, director of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Centre in Oregon, USA.
She said: “It’s been a fantastic event, bringing together such a good cross section of people from around the world. In terms of what I’ll take away from the symposium, one of the biggest things for me has been the lessons learned by EMEC on all different fronts. In Oregon we’ve tested a non-grid connected, half-scale device in the ocean – the grid-connected facility is our future – and so to have a partner in EMEC is really beneficial. I think there’s real value in being able to learn from each other as we’re going through all the stages.”
Koh Eng Kiong, programme director with the Energy Research Institute at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, added: “I’ve found this gathering of all the stakeholders from test centres around the world very useful. It’s given a sense of the issues everyone is facing and reinforced the point that we need a common standard for marine energy testing.”
Global Ocean Energy symposium at EMEC
A MAJOR international ocean energy conference is set to take place in Orkney next month, with wave and tidal test experts from around the world travelling to the islands to see first hand the pioneering work carried out by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).
The two-day Global Ocean Energy symposium will also give test facility delegates the opportunity to forge new working relationships, share knowledge and discuss common industry challenges, against the backdrop of Orkney’s unrivalled levels of marine energy activity.
Supported by development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Orkney Islands Council, and hosted by EMEC, the symposium is being hailed as the flagship event in a year-long programme of activities celebrating EMEC’s tenth anniversary.
Around 25 delegates – from as far afield as Singapore, the USA and China – are attending the symposium, scheduled to run in Kirkwall between 15 and 17 October.
Neil Kermode, managing director of EMEC, said: “Right from the outset, EMEC has taken a collaborative approach to the development of international standards for wave and tidal energy testing, recognising that this knowledge sharing is vital if the marine energy industry is to reach its full potential. Whilst EMEC remains the only fully operational wave and tidal test facility in the world, a growing number of nations are now well down the path towards creating their own centres, many based on our model and utilising our support and advice.
“It’s in this spirit of continuing cooperation that we host next month’s symposium, in what is our tenth anniversary year, and we look forward to welcoming colleagues from around the world to show them first hand the positive impact marine renewables is having in Orkney.”
Ken Grant, HIE’s area manager for Orkney, said: “EMEC’s knowledge and expertise in the marine energy field continues to be sought around the world, and the global interest in this symposium is further testament to the centre’s leading role in the development of this industry. EMEC has been pivotal to the progress we have seen in the wave and tidal sector over the last decade and we now have an industry supporting around 250 jobs in Orkney and some 500 in Scotland.
“Wave and tidal energy have come a long way since EMEC opened, yet there are many challenges to overcome for the industry to reach commercial deployment. During the next 10 years EMEC will continue to play a vital role in the development of the sector, and will remain critical to Scotland’s world-lead in marine renewables.”
During the event, delegates will have the opportunity to visit EMEC’s wave and tidal test sites at Billia Croo and the Fall of Warness. They’ll also view new harbour facilities at Lyness, Hatston and Stromness, created by Orkney Islands Council as part of its three ports strategy, aimed at supporting the renewables industry.
Orkney Islands Council Convener Steven Heddle said: “I’m proud that the Council was among the Government and public sector organisations that supported the creation of EMEC. Over the past decade, we have continued to provide strong backing for the marine renewable energy sector. Our multi-million pound three ports strategy is all about creating key facilities for the industry at key locations in Orkney.
“The newly extended pier at Hatston recently played host to five tidal energy technologies – more than at any other single site in the world. It’s heartening to see investment rewarded – and the global lead Orkney has taken in the drive to harness energy from the sea.”
10MWh of electricity generated in actual operating conditions
From its immersion in January 2013, at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland, Alstom’s full-scale tidal device has reached the full nominal power of 1MW after a series of gradual increases in power. The turbine connected to the grid has now generated over 10MWh of electricity, in actual operating conditions. Both are major milestones in the development of the tidal stream energy.
The tidal turbine has been tested in different operational conditions through the ReDAPT1 testing program. It has shown a reliability and performance in line with its design models. The next step of the testing program will be to demonstrate the full range of autonomous running capabilities of the turbine (its ability to efficiently operate independently), continue with the planned maintenance and gather evidence for certification. The endurance and reliability will also be tested into 2014. Tests in pilot farms will follow prior to the start of full commercial production.
Alstom Ocean business Vice-President Rob Stevenson. said, “We are enthusiastic following the initial tests of our tidal stream turbine which successfully demonstrated the advantages of Alstom tidal turbine technology, in the challenging environment of the Fall of Warness in Orkney“.
Alstom’s tidal turbine has a 22 metres long nacelle and weighs 150 tonnes. Its rotor has three pitchable blades and a diameter of 18 meters. The tidal turbine is capable of floating. Buoyancy enables the turbine nacelle to be easily towed to and from the point of operation and attached to its pre-installed foundation. Avoiding the need for specialist vessels and divers, this particular technical feature minimises installation and maintenance costs and reduces the timeframe to install or retrieve the turbine. The unit operates fully submerged with no surface piercing part, in a water depth of about 40 meters. The nacelle can rotate around vertical axis to face the incoming tide at an optimal angle, and thus extract the maximum energy potential.
First American renewable energy inward investment in Scotland
A £100,000 SMART: SCOTLAND award from Scottish Enterprise has helped ResHydro become the first US renewable energy firm to invest in Scotland.
Working in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, ResHydro will establish a base in Glasgow to complete the research and development needed to take its hydrokinetic energy device closer to commercialisation.
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, attending Scotland Week events in the United States, said:
“Scotland has an incredible wealth of energy resources and is leading the way in the development of marine renewables technology. ResHyrdo’s decision to invest in Scotland and work in partnership with one of our leading universities to further their research and development plans is testament to that.
“Our reputation as a work leader in energy, combined with our supportive business environment and highly skilled workforce, is a powerful proposition for overseas companies looking to succeed in this growing sector.”
ResHydro will be based in St Vincent Street before moving to Scottish Enterprise’s Industry Engagement Building, part of Glasgow’s International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone (ITREZ.)
The SMART: SCOTLAND funding will help the company create a device capable of producing more energy at a lower cost than current renewable technology.
Full commercialisation of ResHydro’s technology will see tidal energy devices manufactured in Scotland.
ResHydro’s chief executive, Samuel Lewinter, said:
“The SMART: SCOTLAND award, coupled with our partnership with the University of Strathclyde, positions ResHydro in the most vital marine power industry market.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to open our Scottish subsidiary where we will have access to significant technical expertise and where market conditions will contribute to the most expeditious commercialisation of our technology.”